Bunkhouse settlers await houses

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TACLOBAN CITY: Liza Rubillos still crosses her fingers that two promises given to them by the government would finally be fulfilled before the year ends – that they be transferred to a permanent shelter along Range View in Barangay Cabalawan and a source of livelihood once they make the move.

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Rubillos is among those living in temporary bunkhouses after Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan) destroyed their community in Barangay 88.

She lost her 16-year-old daughter. She said her house which was located near the Tacloban Airport was swept away by the storm surge that slammed inland. Her daughter was inside the house when rampaging water forced its way in. Rubillos said she considers her elder daughter fortunate as they managed to find her body in a creek. The girl was among those buried in a mass grave in the city.

An unknown number remain missing to this day.

Rubillos, her husband and 10-year-old daughter were made to live in a temporary resettlement site in Abucay over three months after the typhoon struck.

The Abucay bunkhouses sheltered residents from six barangays. There were originally 200 families living in the bunkhouses. The number has since been reduced to 185. Some of the settler were relocated to permanent shelters put up by the GMA Foundation while others returned to their old residential areas near the city proper.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development provided skills training to selected women residents of the Abucay bunkhouse area. They were also provided P3,900 startup capital through the Self Employment Assistance –Kaunlaran (SEA-K). Beneficiaries were given sewing machines. Rubillos now alters pants and dresses.

“Kahit papaano ang kinikita ko ay naibigay ko rin na pambaon ng aking anak (At least I could give my daughter a school allowance),” she stressed.

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